I stared at Emma for a moment. Then I reached over, picked up my water bottle, and downed the rest of it. When I didn’t pass out, I concluded that I hadn’t just been partially roofied and hallucinating.
“I… uh… need to make a phone call,” I said.
Emma smiled really wide. “I’ll go find somewhere private,” she said. Then she slid off her stool and threaded her way toward the nearer wall of booths.
I fished out my phone, flipped it open, and dialed shakily. It rang four times before picking up.
“Help,” I hissed into the receiver as soon as the call connected.
“Abby?” Megan asked on the other end. The club’s music threatened to drown her out. “What’s wrong?”
“I’ve just been propositioned!” I blurted out.
“What?” Megan squawked. She had to be a little tipsy, I realized. Normally she’d be a lot more composed and already teasing me about something like this. “By who?”
“Emma!” I yelped back.
“Oh, Abby…” Megan hesitated. “Turn her down gently, okay?” she said at least. “Emma’s had a really hard year.”
“I think I said yes,” I whispered hoarsely.
“What?” Megan cried in surprise. “But… but… aren’t you straight?” she stammered.
“I don’t know!” I wailed. “No one’s ever asked me and I’ve never thought about it and I would think I am because of Hans but I said yes to Emma so maybe not and I don’t know what to do!” I gasped for breath after blurting all of that out, and then I had to struggle against the urge to hyperventilate.
There was another long pause before Megan came back. “Okay,” she said, and she sounded more uncertain than I have ever heard her. “Emma’s a sweetheart, but she’s still fragile. So just take it slow, okay? Don’t do anything you weren’t comfortable doing with Hans, and don’t freak out on her, and it’ll be okay.”
Right. Nothing I’d been uncomfortable doing with Hans. So, no life-altering revelations. Which was fine because there was no way experimenting with lesbianism for the first time would go there.
I was so screwed.
Emma waved from outside a curtained booth, and I swallowed nervously. “Um. I have to go,” I said. “Thanks.” I hung up shakily. Why hadn’t I just said ‘I am flattered, Emma, but I’m not into women?’ I wondered. My memory answered with the imagined scene of Emma and Katherine making out.
Oh. Right. I tried putting myself in for Katherine, but it just didn’t work. So I tried Megan, instead, and yeah… that was hot. I swallowed again, stood, and made my way to the booth Emma had picked out. I had to get away from the crowd. I felt too hot, like everyone could look at me and see that I was thinking lewd thoughts and knew I was perverted enough to be getting worked up over them.
It was suffocating. The pain from my ankle didn’t even cut through it.
Emma slipped into the booth when she saw me coming. It was actually a huge relief when I joined her and the heavy black curtain cut off the strangers’ stares. I took a deep breath and surreptitiously checked the ceiling for cameras. Thank god for privacy!
I looked back at Emma and breathed out. She’s fragile, I reminded myself. Don’t freak out on her.
I could see it, too. Emma was kneeling in the seat toward the back of the booth, facing out. Her head was bowed down a little and she had crossed her wrists over her knees, scrunching her shoulders together in a pose that was both endearingly shy and managed to push out her breasts. Her face was turned down, but she watched me through her lashes while biting down on her lower lip. It was like all the easy confidence and forwardness she’d shown on the dance floor and at the bar had melted away now that we were alone.
“Well,” Emma finally built up the nerve to say. “You’re the possessive one, so… take possession.”
Alright, so maybe not all of it.
I slipped into the seat next to her. My mouth felt dry. I was seriously out of my element here, and the only reason I wasn’t totally freaking out was that – shock and uncertainty aside – Emma just didn’t scare me the way Hans did. I mean… Physically imposing alpha male barbarian pseudo authority figures? Sexually dangerous. But pretty, slightly drunk bi-curious college coeds on the rebound? I’ve never even had to think about that before. In fact, in my extremely robust fantasy life that was exactly the sort of girl who would find herself in danger. Not the sort that would be dangerous.
Especially since Emma had gone all shy and passive on me, like she thought I was the barbarian in this scenario!
Emma squirmed a little under my gaze, pulling my focus out of my rambling thoughts. Her eyes met mine for just an instant before she averted them and started blushing. Shyness and uncertainty had completely replaced her earlier brazen demeanor. And honestly… that kind of did it for me.
I had the impression that if I just asked Emma if she wanted to forget all about this and go back to the bar, she’d leap to say yes out of sheer embarrassment. Perversely, recognizing that bit of myself in her made me not want to ask. And, frankly, she was pretty. And her shyness was cute. And her uncertainty did a lot to help me ignore mine. And I’d been getting worked up ever since she’d dragged me into a crowd of strangers and made me watch her dance. Also: I was the barbarian in this scenario, damnit.
So… I took the initiative. I leaned in closer and I kissed her. I just ignored how nervous I was and… did it. And it was worth it. Emma’s lips were soft, and they trembled a little, and whatever she’d been drinking all night made them taste sweet, and a little tart, and kind of apple-y.
Emma’s cheeks were flushed when I pulled away. Her eyes were closed and her lips parted slightly with a soft mue of disappointment – or maybe desire. Maybe both. She leaned toward me for another.
Our second kiss was longer – or maybe it was a bunch of kisses all right on top of each other. We did have to break for air a few times. But that’s what making out is, right?
I don’t know. But the kisses did grow more heated and fervent with each additional one, and somehow Emma ended up in my lap with her fingers tangled in my hair. I think I must have pulled her there because one of my hands was at the small of her back, holding her tightly and the other had slipped around her waist and up her back; fingers splayed over her shoulder blade. Her tee-shirt was soft and suddenly seemed very thin. I could feel her warmth through it, and her bra strap under my fingertips, and the give of her body as my grip tightened.
It was thrilling… and it was weird. With Hans, the thrill of the danger of it all had utterly eclipsed the actual kissing. But it wasn’t like that with Emma. Even though she was in my lap and I was effectively trapped underneath her, I didn’t feel trapped. She was there because I’d put her there. I was the one being demanding, and I was the one doing the taking, and Emma was so wildly, eagerly giving in her response that I just wanted more.
It was kind of like how I felt when I’d laid down the law with Hans, except all the time and ongoing through the experience. I wondered briefly if this was how Hans had felt about me when he’d been holding me against the door and having his way, but then I realized it couldn’t be.
Frankly, if I’d been as good and willing a kisser as Emma was then last night would have gone radically differently. Hans and I probably wouldn’t have spent enough time talking for me to have found out he was a werewolf. Also: I probably wouldn’t still be a virgin, either. But the fact was, Hans had controlled himself admirably last night – and this morning – but here I was digging my fingers into Emma’s shoulder and thinking about things like this to distract myself from the fact that I wasn’t really in control of anything I was doing but I still wanted to do it… and worse.
The desire was disconcerting enough to snap me out of it. I pushed Emma back. Her only protest was a little whimper as she let go of my hair and sat up straight. We were both breathing hard, but since Emma was taller than me and sitting in my lap that put her breasts rising and falling just below my eye level. And that was really disconcerting, because I was staring and at least as turned on as I’d been last night.
I swallowed. Thinking about last night made me want to peel off Emma’s tee-shirt – or maybe tear it, the way my blouse hadn’t been – and kiss her bare skin; scrape my teeth along the curve of her breasts and… not bite, maybe, but the thought of making Emma cry out had a rather disturbing appeal.
I forced myself to look up at Emma’s face. Her cheeks were still flushed but her eyes were bright. Her lips were parted for breath and she wet them with her tongue. She’d been watching me stare.
Mortified embarrassment ripped through the haze of lust that had been befouling my thoughts. What was I doing? What was I doing?!
It was a bad question. It made me realize I was a horrible, godawful person. I was taking advantage, in the worst possible way, of someone who’d been hurt and was vulnerable. I was treating Emma like an object: pulling her into my lap and using her for my enjoyment and… I thought about the scratches I’d left on Hans and realized I’d been wanting to do something so that if she did this with someone else tomorrow they’d know she’d been with me first.
I still did. That’s what the urge to nibble was about.
Oh, god, there was something wrong with me. I was sick. What the fuck was wrong with me? The scratches I’d given Hans had been an accident, but… If I’d left a mark on Emma it would have been on purpose, except to the extent that I hadn’t really been in control of myself. If we’d kept going… I hadn’t even been trying to stop myself. What kind of awful person takes advantage of someone like that?
I mean… I know a lot of my fantasies have a vaguely non-con feel to them that I justify by imagining everyone involved thoroughly enjoying themselves regardless of their relative – and myriad – positions. And perfectly innocent women are taken terrible advantage of in those fantasies. But those were fantasies. This wasn’t. I wasn’t ever in my fantasies, so how could this be? How could I possibly justify actually doing what I’d actually been doing with Emma?!
God. Emma was in my lap. I needed to get away. No, I had to apologize, first. As if an apology could even possibly make up for my behavior. It had been worse than if I’d just freaked out.
And now I was freaking out.
Fuck! I had to apologize. And escape. And find Megan. And take her somewhere safe, where vampires couldn’t get us. And then hide out for the next forever.
I was going to join a convent as soon as I got out from under Emma. How do you join one of those? Maybe God would take pity on me and pretend that all the times I’ve used ‘god’ as an exclamation in my thoughts I hadn’t been taking his name in vain. He could say I’d actually been trying to point something out to Him. Then He could convince the pope to let me be a nun, since He and I were best buddies. Right?
Oh, god, I was panicking so hardcore I wasn’t even paying attention to Emma. Emma, the girl who’d caught me staring at her breasts like I wanted to tear off her shirt and maul them.
I had to deal with Emma first. Then I could flee. Then I could fall apart. I forced myself out of my thoughts and back into reality.
Emma looked at me and bit her lower lip. She leaned toward me, bracing her arms against the seat back on either side of my head. I braced myself for her disgust and outrage. Or worse: tears. “Oh, Abby,” she breathed. “I want more,” she murmured in my ear.
I froze. Shock on top of panic made me feel brittle. Emma didn’t realize how fucked up this was? I felt a sudden surge of relief: she hadn’t realized how fucked up I was. It was followed by shame. Shame that I was relieved that she was so drunk I’d been able to pull one over on her.
“No you don’t,” I managed to say hoarsely.
Emma pulled back from nuzzling my face. “I don’t?” she asked in clear confusion.
“You don’t,” I confirmed. Because I did. And even though I seemed to be able to stop now, everything I wanted still seemed to be way further on the ‘fiercely possessive’ side of the spectrum than I was comfortable with. Emma was a person. Not an object to be claimed.
But also… I knew she had to be tipsy. She held it well, but Emma had done things with her tongue that I hadn’t realized people could do without being born in France or working in porn. I’d gotten a taste of whatever lewdly named drinks she’d had after we stopped dancing. I was willing to bet she’d had a couple before Megan and I had arrived, too. And that meant that since I was the sober one, I had to be the responsible one. Whatever the hell that meant right now.
Emma looked at me. I couldn’t tell if she was offended or not – I was too busy trying to figure out the escape part of my plan to meet her gaze. She had me penned in on all sides.
“Why not?” Emma asked.
I wasn’t paying attention, which was stupid because I know how I blurt out shit when I’m panicked. And I was definitely panicked, because I couldn’t see a way out. “Because I do!” I said. “And all the things I want to do are terrible, terrible things.” Was this how Hans had felt this morning? Poor bastard. “So if we really want this to be a ‘no regrets’ evening for you by tomorrow then I need to stop taking advantage of you while you’re drunk! It was selfish and shitty of me to do it at all, but I just… If you’ll please let me go I should really get out of your life as soon as possible.”
“Oh,” Emma said in surprise. She took one hand off the seat back – but instead of letting me go she used it to turn my head until I was facing her. “Alright,” she said when she had my full attention. “But I’m not drunk.”
“Um… yes you are,” I contradicted. “I can taste whatever lewdly named drink Mark was serving you.”
Emma let go of my face to smoother a giggle. “It’s a virgin pucker,” she said cheerfully.
I rolled my eyes to see if I could make a bolt for the booth’s exit. Not while she was on top of me. Damn. “See?” I asked. “Lewd.”
Emma’s giggle turned into a laugh. “No,” she said – then reconsidered. “Well, maybe,” she conceded. “But ‘virgin’ means non-alcoholic. I’m not drunk, Abby. I don’t drink.”
“You – what?” I squawked. I could feel my cheeks heating up. A drunk girl trying to make out with me sort of made sense – Megan had tried once when she was drunk. but that hadn’t meant anything. I’d figured Emma had just been looking for a nice, safe, drunken, one-night rebound make-out after getting over her ex, and decided to pick a girl she’d never seen before and would never see again because strange men are fucking scary. I mean, I knew Emma was casual about kissing girls – she’d said she used to make out with her female friends to tease her boyfriend, hadn’t she? But I’d thought she just meant that as the natural drunken extension of the ‘hey look, guys: we just might be lesbians’ dance.
I tried to reply, but couldn’t. I wasn’t sure if my jaw was hanging open or just working soundlessly, but I was too flabbergasted to speak.
Emma laughed again and leaned in against me. “If anyone’s taking advantage it’s me,” she concluded. “If you were, then you wouldn’t be worried about it enough to try and stop. But I’m the one who propositioned you, and I’m on top.”
I scoffed – automatically trying to express confidence I no longer remotely felt. “Well, sure, but only because I put you there.”
Emma giggled. “Oh, is that how it is? Then I guess this is entirely mutual and we should carry on. Say, can I borrow your phone?”
“Uh… yeah.” I was sufficiently startled by the non sequitur that I didn’t pause before fishing it out of my purse and handing it over.
Emma flipped my phone open long-ways and tapped out a quick text. A moment later her pocket chirped. “Now you have my number,” she said, “and I have yours. So no more of this ‘getting out of my life’ nonsense.” She sniffed derisively at the idea. “I happen to approve of people who don’t want to take liberties with me when they think I’m drunk, and generally want to keep them around. Oh!” She handed me back my phone and dug out hers. “For your boyfriend,” she said. Then she held the phone out at arm’s length and leaned in to kiss me while clicking a picture. Her other hand got tangled in my hair again.
I may have gotten a little bit distracted then. Somehow Emma ended up pressed tighter against me. She must have put the phone down at some point, because the next thing I knew she was running all of her fingers through my hair again and we were back to kissing very, very emphatically.
And then we were interrupted. Before I got swept away into sliding my hands under Emma’s shirt and doing something stupid – or sadistic – or sadistically stupid – the booth’s privacy curtain was yanked open.